Every meadmaker eventually encounters the problem of having too much mead. I know, it’s tough to consider; if you like drinking it how do you accumulate too much? Well, it happens, and when it does, you need a plan to get rid of it. One of the best ways I’ve come across is to host a mead tasting. You get the opportunity to show off your meads, get feedback on what everyone likes, and generally share the beverage with those who may have never heard of it. But how do you go about planning it? We’re here to help. Here are the 5 things to consider when planning a mead tasting.
Running the MeadMakr Podcast is a lot of fun. We try meads in every episode, with the opportunity to explore the variety available in the meadium (you can find the list of every mead tried here). But if you are just beginning your nectar-filled journey, what does mead taste like? And what resources are available to help the uninitiated become more familiar with this fabulous beverage? In this post, we’ll walk you through the mead tasting process and point you towards the best resources we’ve found to help us evaluate the beverages we so love, including some MeadMakr developed tasting sheets you can use for your next mead party!
Making mead is easy. You mix together honey and water, rehydrate and pitch your yeast, aerate, and add some yeast nutrient at scheduled times during the first few days of fermentation. After a few weeks, you rack to a secondary for aging. Within a year (maybe less), you have a drinkable mead (although age will continue to improve the mead for many months and years). But how much honey exactly do you need to make mead? In this post, we’ll answer just that, and point you to a nifty calculator to anticipate the amount of honey you’ll need to make mead. Continue reading “Just How Much Honey Is in Mead?”
Tysen came up with this batch trying to experiment with the flavors of star anise and clove. And he added a little bit of saffron to see if he could impart any great color to the mead as part of the process. And he isn’t the only one to try saffron. Here’s a link to Superstition Meadery out in Prescott, AZ giving saffron a try.
Tysen and I recently returned from an epic weekend at the Mazer Cup. Here’s a quick breakdown of what happened, followed by some links to a few other recaps about the event.
For those who have not heard of the Mazer Cup, it is the largest mead only competition in the world. At 368 home and 327 commercial entrants this year, there is no other place in the world that provides the opportunity to taste and experience so many high quality meads (although the Kookoolan World Meadery Tasting Room comes close with over 150 commercial varieties).
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One of the common questions asked when I mention to friends that I make mead is how do you determine the alcohol by volume. And until I researched this post, I thought this was a relatively straightforward process. It only required a simple math equation, right? If you start with a known quantity of sugar dissolved in a must, measure the starting specific gravity, and compare to the finished gravity, the entire change can be attributed solely to the production of alcohol, right? Well, it turns out this logic is flawed, and the solution will vary depending on the source. Continue reading “How to Determine Alcohol by Volume”